Carex gaudichaudiana


Carex: Latin name for a species of sedge, now applied to the whole group.
gaudichaudiana: after Gaudichaud-Baupre

Common Name(s)

Gaudichaud's sedge

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Carex gaudichaudiana Kunth



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Carex vulgaris var. gaudichaudiana (Kunth) Boott


Indigenous. New Zealand: North and South Islands from about the northern Waikato south. Also in Australia and New Guinea.


Lowland to alpine in wetlands, bogs and mires, along river flats, in seepages, around the margins of lakes, ponds and tarns.


Rhizome ascending; tufts flaccid. Rhizomes 1.5-2.0 mm diameter, often long-creeping. Culms variable in size, 20-320 × 0.3–1.0 mm, trigonous, almost glabrous, but often slightly scabrid just below the inflorescence; basal sheaths light brown or grey-brown. Leaves numerous, < or us. > culms, 0.5-2.5 mm wide, double-folded, grass-like, keel, margins and nerves on adaxial surface slightly scabrid towards tip. Inflorescence of 3–5 spikes, ± approximate, usually sessile; uppermost spike male, occasionally compound with a smaller male spike near its base; lower spikes female, often male at the top, 5–20 × 2–5 mm, usually < male spikes. Glumes < utricles, ovate, subacute, dark brown to almost black, coriaceous, midrib narrow to broad, green, scarcely reaching tip of glume. Utricles 2.5-4.0 × 1.5-2.0 mm, narrow-ovoid to orbicular-ovoid, gradually tapering above, much compressed, green with minute red-brown spots when mature, conspicuously nerved, margins smooth; beak almost wanting, orifice entire or minutely bidentate; stipe < 0.5 mm. long. Stigmas 2. Nut 1.5–2 mm. long, biconvex, orbicular-ovoid, dull grey

Similar Taxa

Carex gaudichaudiana is most similar to C. sinclairii Boott and C. subdola Boott from which it is easily distinguished by its overall smaller size, narrower leaves and sessile spikes.


October - December


December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and by the division of established plants. Although a wetland species C. gaudicaudiana will grow well in most soils and moisture regimes. Does best in full sun.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 72

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Nuts surrounded by inflated utricles are dispersed by granivory and wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).


Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970)

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 4 Dec 2014